A Super Blue Blood Moon Is Coming

Since the moon needs to be behind the Earth, relative to the sun, a lunar eclipse can only happen on a full moon.

The Earth will be treated to a hat trick of incredible lunar sights on January 31, when a blue moon, total lunar eclipse, and supermoon will all take place on the same day. A supermoon occurs when the moon becomes full on the same day that it reaches its perigree, the point in the moon's elliptical orbit when it is closest to Earth.

Nonetheless, UK stargazers will still have an unbelievable view of the supermoon, which is caused when the moon comes within 90 percent of its perigee, or closest distance to earth. Cameras in Australia and the western US will follow the lunar eclipse from 6:30 a.m. ET January 31. The earth is positioned in the middle, casting its shadow completely over the moon.

This fantastic lunar occasion includes the second full moon of the month, otherwise called a Blue Moon.

January's moon earns the title "blood moon" due to the total lunar eclipse, which takes on an eerie reddish hue as it travels through the dark central portions of the Earth's shadow.

The duration of the lunar eclipse will be three hours, 18 minutes.

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"The supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the Moon, not just that once but every chance they have", Petro said.

In the case of a lunar eclipse, the sunlight that makes it around Earth passes through our atmosphere and is refracted toward the moon. "Set your alarm early and go out and take a look".

Stages of the January 31, 2018 "super blue blood moon". The only other blue moon for 2018 will happen in March - March 1 and March 31, to be exact.

If you don't catch the one at Kozhikode, you can head to the Priyadarshini Planetarium in the Kerala Science and Technology Museum (KSSTM) in Thiruvananthapuram, which in addition to setting up telescopes for public viewing, will also conduct awareness classes with an astrophysicist. The total eclipse will last till 7.37 pm, after which the earth's shadow on moon will start retreating, turning it into a partial eclipse by 8.41 pm, after which the Moon will be fully visible once again. The blue moon designation has nothing to do with color.

You can check if your nearest city will experience the eclipse using this interactive lunar eclipse model. It is a total lunar eclipse often colored red thanks to light scattering through atmospheric dust, but it's also the subject of stories, speculation and superstitions - take your pick.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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